As summer rolls into view, it’s time to get hands on with our homes.
Whether you have a few bits and bobs on your list or you are starting that house transformation you’ve been putting off for years, this is the right place for expert tips on how to DIY.
The project: There are thousands of DIY jobs around the house or apartment, but what tools do you really need to have on hand?
The expert: Shayna Alnwick, aka @theflippedpiece, is a self taught DIYer and influencer with 330,000 Instagram followers and is an ambassador for garden and power tools manufacturer Ryobi.
The reason: By streamlining what you need, money can be saved and there won’t be a stack of expensive and unused tools clogging up cupboards and basements.
Your step-by-step guide to buying the right DIY tools
Step 1: Brainstorm
Sit down and have a proper think about what sort of DIY work you want to learn. Do you want to focus more on building? Or more on upcycling? A bit of both?
Then you should think about the upcoming projects you have coming up and the types of tools you may need.
Write down your ideas so you have a clear picture as to what tool kit will best suit you.
Step 2: Research
Researching is the most important step as it helps you find what you NEED versus what you WANT.
Yes, you may want the most expensive luxury tools out there on the market, but do you actually need them for your project? You may want to have the biggest tool kit out of all your DIY friends, but do you need all those tools?
What helped me the most is watching several YouTube tutorials on tools that I need for my upcoming projects.
There are so many products out there on the market, so this is an easy and convenient way to familiarise yourself with the vast majority of them and get inspired.
Step 3: Budget
How many tools do you need to get your project complete? What is the maximum amount of money you have to spend on all new tools?
These are important questions to ask yourself so you’re not dishing out money on tools you won’t use or need.
Step 4: Basics
Yes, basics. You absolutely need the basics. What do I mean by this?
You need a measuring tape, a hammer, a screwdriver, a wrench and maybe pliers. These are tools that are always great to have on hand for any DIY project regardless of what you are aiming to achieve.
Step 5: Storage
Tool storage is key when you want to make sure you make the most out of them and get their longevity to make sure they are kept well, won’t break and are easily accessible.
I personally work in a workshop; therefore I like to have my tools on a pegboard and spread out across shelves. Others might turn a space storage closet into a tool storage area or even buy a toolbox to keep them all in.
Step 6: Test
Go test them out. Go to hardware stores, walk to the power tool section and look atthem first-hand. Feel them, make sure the weight is right for you.
Take a close look at them and see what accessories you may need. Do you need blades? Sanding discs? Drill bits? Add these extras to your additional costs for your overall budget.
Top Ten Tools in Shayna’s personal tool kit
- Orbital Sander: This is my most-used tool and a staple in all my upcycling projects. It can be used to either smooth down walls or to get rid of wood splinters. I am currently using the Ryobi 18V Cordless Random Orbit Sander which is designed to reduce any swirl marks on surfaces.
- Drill: A hammer drill? A Drill driver? Impact driver? The best route is to figure out which drill will work best with your projects. There are variations of drills but having a hammer drill as part of your kit is essential as it has the power to work with basic DIY projects as well as ones that need a little more kick.
- Shop vac: As basic as this sounds, it is so important to invest in a good shop vacuum to make sure you keep your workspace free of dust, dirt and debris.
- Multi tool: The tool ensures the flexibility to switch between the different blades, discs and sanding heads which makes it one of the most versatile tools in any kit.
- Laser level: It looks like a futuristic tool, but it makes wall panelling and moulding so much easier.
- Mitre saw: This tool helps you cut at different degree angles and chop down wood for various DIY projects.
- Router: When finishing the wood trim, it’s important to have curved edges. A more creative idea is to cut out the centre of wood where you can create an inlay for tile, too.
- Jigsaw: This is the best tool for beginners as it makes cutting curved edges, following patterns and cutting off edges a pleasure.
- Heat gun: It’s brilliant for stripping old latex paint off when upcycling furniture.
- Nail gun: The Ryobi 18V ONE+™ Cordless 18 Gauge Nailer is perfect for binding soft and thin wood without splitting. Fixing broken furniture, attaching wood and adding on backs trim for DIY projects are just a few ways of making use of the nail gun.
- Start small and don’t buy too many tools at first. Build up your tool kit as you get more comfortable with your DIY projects.
- Don’t buy the cheapest items. The saying is true: You get what you pay for.
- Use protective eyewear and make sure you are always taking the best steps and necessary precautions for safety.
- Never leave you power tools plugged in and remove batteries when not in use.
- Ensure you’re using the right blades, drill bits and drill heads for the correct projects.
- Measure twice, cut once – words to live by.
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